If you didn’t fill out the Successor Info Form, or even if you did, please take the time to create an informative welcome letter for your successor. Although you’ll be busy, the following list of things to leave for them would be extremely useful to help them settle in. Try to remember what it was like when you first came.

Things to Include in Your Welcome Letter/E-mail:

Pre-departure Information:

  • What to pack-clothes (appropriate work attire etc.), shoes, personal items, gifts. etc.
  • What to send ahead: winter clothes, books etc.
  • What will be needed for Tokyo Orientation and in Toyama Prefecture.
  • What NOT to pack- items that you didn’t find useful or the things that you can find here in Japan

About yourself

  • Introduce yourself briefly
  • Your telephone/email contact details and the best times to contact you

About your city/ town/ village:

  • Location and description- where it is situated with regards to a big city/town etc.
  • The geography: climate, temperature, mountains, beaches etc.
  • What facilities are available and how far away they are: supermarket, video shop, gym, train station etc.
  • Activities in the area: sports clubs, ikebana, calligraphy etc.
  • Proximity of other foreigners and re-contracting JETs
  • Giving a link to the map on the website or google maps would be good. If the city has a website, giving that link would also be good.

About your house/ apartment:

  • Rent- how much is paid by whom, whether there is key money/deposit, if you receive rent subsidy or not
  • What furnishings are supplied and what you have to sell
  • What the JET should bring or buy for the apartment
  • Descriptions and photos: how many rooms, type of bathroom, etc.
  • Average cost of household bills per month
  • Who owns the apartment/house, your relationship to the owner

About your office/base school:

  • Your schedule
  • Name and brief introduction of supervisor and members of the English Department (photos are really good) also names of students with photos – make sure you get permission first. (if possible)
  • To whom to give presents and when to give them
  • Who speaks English? How much?
  • What to expect in the first few days/weeks
  • Dress code
  • Smoking policy
  • How and when your salary is paid
  • Whether you are reimbursed for travel expenses and when
  • Procedure for taking sick leave

About your Job:

  • Teaching situation: Do you work at SHS or JHS/EMS? How many days do you work there?
  • A typical day/lesson
  • Self introduction lesson and other materials to bring
  • Level of the students and what to expect in terms of their attitude etc.
  • Transportation to school/offices
  • School/Office activities that you take part in: enkais, sports days, trips etc.
  • Special activities at school: club activities, speech contests, exchanges, English camps etc.

Things to Leave for Your Successor:

  •  Your contact information (address, telephone number, email) in your home country and the best method by which to contact you
  • Town map, with points of interest (supermarkets, shops, restaurants, izakayas, other JETs who live nearby)
  • Bus/ train schedules & a list of emergency and work phone numbers
  • School schedule and other information that may be useful, such as a seating chart, list of helpful English speakers, etc.
  • Payday, as well as any deductions are taken from their paycheck (enkai fund, school lunch etc)
  • Instructions for appliances, copies of all “how to use” manuals and warranties
  • Garbage day schedule: times, days categories; where to leave the garbage
  • Copies of your bills along with explanations (is it deducted from their account? Who comes around to collect the bill, and when?)

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